Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Sound Level Meter

LabQuest 2 with Digital Control Unit and Traffic light


Educational technology comes in all forms: special grade and attendance software, student response systems (“clickers”), and mobile device apps. As the newest member of the electrical engineering team at ABC Educational Technologies, you have been tasked with designing a sound level meter for use in the classroom. Teachers have expressed an interest in a device that would monitor the sound level in their classrooms for them, so they can concentrate on helping individual students. Such a meter would allow teachers to set a threshold noise level, read the current sound level, and then indicate to students that they are getting too noisy.

Your marketing team has conducted focus groups with a variety of teachers. Results show they want to have a prominent visual display of the current sound level. Additionally, they want some sort of eye-catching feedback when the sound level is too loud.

Your job is to create a prototype of a sound level meter using Vernier sensors, Logger Pro software or a standalone LabQuest 2, and a variety of output devices shown in the Materials list.

Learning Objectives

  • Supplement classroom instruction of sound and its effects with hands on engineering application.
  • Control devices (e.g., lights, motors, buzzers) based on input from measured physical quantities (e.g., sound level).

Reference Experiments

Vernier Lab Book Experiment
Physics with Vernier 32 Sound Waves and Beats

Sensors and Equipment

Additional Materials

  • DC buzzer
  • DC/120 mA lamp
  • DC fan
  • DC motor
  • DC vibrating motor
  • green LED (with resistor)
  • red LED (with resistor)

Construction Materials

  • duct tape
  • cardboard
  • felt sheets
  • colored markers

Download Extension

The download includes student instructions, DCU tips, teacher information, and examples in PDF and Microsoft® Word® formats.

Sound Level Meter

About Engineering Extension Activities

Engineering Extension Activities provide a way to add an engineering component to a Vernier science experiment. Use sensor data and Logger Pro software (or LabQuest 2) to help solve an engineering problem.

See All Engineering Extension Activities »

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